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Health Reports: Infant bed sharing in Canada

Released: 2019-07-17

One-third of mothers (33%) said that their infants (younger than 1 year of age) slept with them or with someone else every day or almost every day. Another 27% said that their infants shared a bed occasionally, and 40% said that their infants never shared a bed. These findings are from a new study released today in Health Reports that is the first to look at the prevalence of infant bed sharing in Canada.

The study, which is based on data from the 2015 and 2016 Canadian Community Health Survey, also looked at the reasons reported by mothers for their infants sharing a bed. Breastfeeding was the most common reason (39%), followed by facilitating the mother's or the infant's sleep (29%).

Although public health messaging advises parents against bed sharing because of an association with infant injury and death, proponents cite potential physical and psychological benefits, and evidence suggests that the risks associated with bed sharing are low in the absence of other risk factors.

The data indicate that bed sharing is relatively common.

  Note to readers

The data are based on responses to the 2015 and 2016 Canadian Community Health Survey by women aged 15 to 55 who had given birth in the past five years.

Products

"Infant bed sharing in Canada" is now available in the July 2019 online issue of Health Reports, Vol. 30, no. 7 (Catalogue number82-003-X).

This issue of Health Reports also contains the articles "Comparison of self-reported and accelerometer-measured physical activity among Canadian youth," and "Changes in beverage consumption in Canada."

Contact information

To enquire about "Infant bed sharing in Canada," contact Heather Gilmour (heather.gilmour@canada.ca), Health Analysis Division.

To enquire about "Comparison of self-reported and accelerometer-measured physical activity among Canadian youth," contact Rachel Colley (rachel.colley@canada.ca), Health Analysis Division.

To enquire about "Changes in beverage consumption in Canada," contact Didier Garriguet (didier.garriguet@canada.ca), Health Analysis Division.

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; STATCAN.infostats-infostats.STATCAN@canada.ca) or Media Relations (613-951-4636; STATCAN.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.STATCAN@canada.ca).

For more information about Health Reports, contact Janice Felman (613-799-7746; janice.felman@canada.ca), Health Analysis Division.

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